car driving

REVEALED: Five things you may be doing behind the wheel that could be breaking the law

Go.Compare car insurance is warning all motorists to be aware of some of the rules they could be unknowingly breaking behind the wheel.

This warning comes as new research from the comparison site has revealed how many people are unaware that acts such as splashing a pedestrian as they walk past a puddle, or getting out of a car on a single yellow line, could have an impact on your licence, your wallet and your car insurance.

The survey, which asked over 1,700 UK motorists about some of the lesser-known Highway Code rules, found that a significant number of those who took part didn’t realise they could get in trouble for certain acts behind the wheel.*

The research revealed that just a third (30%) of people knew that they shouldn’t be using their sat-nav in a non-fixed position, under half (42%) of those who took part knew that splashing pedestrians was illegal and just over half (51%) of people knew they couldn’t sleep in their car while drunk.

While a significant number of those who took part knew that a dirty number plate could get them in trouble (67%), just 18% of people knew they shouldn’t exit a car on a single yellow line.

Tom Banks, car spokesperson for Go.Compare car said: “Some rules of the road are drummed into us from a young age – we all know not to drink and drive, or use our mobile while we’re on the road. But are people told about exiting a car on a single yellow line? Some of these rules aren’t as well-known but can just as easily get you penalty points on your licence and a fine.

“For example, splashing a pedestrian is actually illegal as it’s considered as driving without reasonable consideration for other persons. You could get a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence if caught, but there is also a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine to watch out for.”

The comparison site has cleared up the following rules of the road, for anyone who may be in doubt about whether they could get points or a fine:

Using your mobile phone as a sat-nav in an unfixed position

Go.Compare’s research has revealed that just 30% of people knew that using your mobile as a sat-nav in an unfixed position could be breaking the law.

The law states that you can’t hold or use a phone, sat-nav or any other device that can send or receive data while driving (or riding a motorcycle). So unless your phone is fixed to the windscreen or dashboard, you cannot use it as a sat-nav.

You can, for example, use your phone to pay at a drive-through, but if you’re queuing with the engine running you shouldn’t have your phone in your hands for general scrolling around, messaging or calls.

For those drivers who are caught, you could be facing a £100 fine and three penalty points.

Splashing pedestrians

Splashing pedestrians with rainwater, while most might think is impolite, many may not realise is also actually a criminal offence for exhibiting careless or inconsiderate behaviour while on the road – yet only 42% of those who took part in the survey knew that splashing a pedestrian in the rain is an offence.

Sleeping in your car while inebriated

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal but you may not be aware that sleeping in your car while drunk, even if you were not planning to drive, is an offence. Just over half (51%) of people surveyed knew that this was an offence, which potentially means that almost half of motorists would not know this was illegal and could get them points on their licence and a fine.

Driving with a dirty number plate

Depending on the time of the year, and the sort of roads you drive, you might need to wash your car more than other people, and this is especially true when it comes to keeping your number plate visible. It is illegal to have your number plate obstructed while driving, and you could get a £100 on-the-spot fine, or face the maximum fine of £1000. Having a clear number plate means that the police can know when and where the vehicle is registered, so make sure it is visible at all times. 

Exiting a car on a single yellow line

A single yellow line on the side of a road indicates that there are waiting and parking restrictions in place, which should be specified on nearby signs. They will likely say that between certain times, you can’t park there, but even if you are just dropping someone off the driver should never get out of the vehicle. Just 18% of people who took part in the survey knew that this was an offence.

To learn more about things you shouldn’t do while you are driving, visit here:

Contact Information

Rubie Barker

Notes to editors

-Notes to Editors-

*These findings are from a study released by Sago between April 5th and 8th, among a random selection of 2,212 of GB adults ages 18+ of which 1,752 are motorists who are online panelists of Sago’s Community.

The results were weighted by age, gender, region, and ethnicity to match the population, according to Census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals when compared to the data tables are due to rounding. Excerpts from this release of findings should be properly attributed, with interpretation subject to clarification or correction.

For further information please contact:

Lynsey Walden –

Kath Chadwick –

Or you can call 02920 020360.

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @Go.Compare 

About Go.Compare

Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover. 

Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

More information can be found here or here